Customer Reviews for

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2008

    One Man's War Against Counterterrorism

    Twenty years ago, the idea of defending the United States against terrorism was relatively new. So new, in fact, that only a three-man Defense Security Service 'DSS' team situated in a windowless, smoke-filled office in the basement of the Harry S. Truman Building in our nation¿s capital was responsible for keeping tabs on the most violent religious extremists in the world.******* Fred Burton, a key figure in international counterterrorism and one of the original three agents, has taken off his Barbour Beaufort spy jacket to give a deeply personal account of the terroristic threats and acts America faced during his years as a DSS agent in ¿GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent.¿******* Burton, currently vice president for counterterrorism at Stratfor, a private intelligence company, recounts riveting, real world cases of espionage that detail how the U.S. tracked Libya-linked master terrorist Abu Nidal captured Ramzi Yousef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and pursued the assassins of major political figures including Yitzhak Rabin, Meir Kahane, and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the president of Pakistan.******* ¿Ghost¿ is a fascinating read, written in a solemn, heartfelt tone that conveys the angst and strife Burton felt as he tried to rid ¿The Dark World¿ of terrorists, while bringing home American hostages safely.******* ¿I carry a list of names with me at all times. It is written in the black ink of a fountain pen in a hardback black Italian moleskin journal, and it travels with me in my weathered Ghurka shoulder bag or, when I¿m on the road, in my small Zero Halliburton aluminum case, right next to my Smith & Wesson Model 637 five shot revolver¿Each name on my list has eluded pursuit and is still out there¿Most of the names have long been forgotten by the public, but not by me.¿****** In a telephone interview during a nationwide book tour in Washington, D.C., Burton provides additional insight into his years with the DSS, and his thoughts on the Texas border serving as a portal for terrorists entering the U.S. ******* Q. Given your former job and current occupation, isn¿t it dangerous to come out with a book and tour that exposes you to people who still reside in ¿The Dark World?¿ A. Having been in this business for as many years as I have, going back to my days as a police officer as well as a special agent, it comes with the territory. I would venture to guess that street cops in San Antonio, and the border agents in Texas, are at more risk than I am. I have no fears of retribution, but I still take safety measures.******* Q. How is ¿The Dark World¿ doing? A. It¿s getting harder for them. The U.S. government has a much more robust capability to analyze threats and to make sense of the puzzle than we ever did. There are now thousands of analysts and thousands of agents assigned to this issue around globe, so they have a much better capability to oversee things. The technology has greatly increased from the days when I first started with 3x5 index cards, so their ability to connect the dots is much better.******* Q. How effective is al-Qaida today? A. al-Qaida is under a tremendous amount of pressure. The Federal Government has done a very good job of hunting down, capturing and killing high valued targets as evident with the recent military tribunal of Khalid Sheilkh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.**** The real concern from a domestic terror prospective is the ¿Lone Wolf Threat.¿ When you start game-boarding possible scenarios, one of the most worrisome is the individual who is inspired by al-Qaida and doesn¿t tell anybody what he¿s doing. Therefore, you don¿t have the capability to have an informant close to him to report on his actions.****** Q. How does religion reach the level of violent extremism in other countries? A. We have extremists in all walks of religion. When you start looking at Islamic fundamentalists, you have indiv

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    COUNTER TERRORISM INTRIGUE

    I hope there are more Fred Burton's out there! Burton's story is unique in that he was a kid raised in DC and grew up to be a key figure in defending our countries assets overseas while working for the State Department's DSS Counterterrorsim Unit. To work diligently from a grassroots efforts in the 1980's to build a top performing organization capable of identifying, tracking, and eliminating threats from the Dark World, Burton does a great job in detailing some of his biggests successes and failures. I recognized his desire to share what information he can about the greater dangers in our world and anyone wanting to gain knowledge of Burton's terrifying perspective on the world should read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    Horrible book.

    I couldn't even finish it because it was so bad. Not worth the money or the time to read.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Insight into US Terrorism Effort

    Interesting and detailed biography of how one agent dealt with the terrorist activities he was faced with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Not an interesting read

    There is a number of excellent books about this subject from authors that are able to tell interesting stories. This is not one of them.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    highly recommended

    highly recommended

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2009

    doubters beware

    Fred Burton spent his career keeping Americans safe around the world. In this memior he takes you into the realm of counterterrorism and the spook world, as he calls it. He became an agent in the DSS, diplomatic secret service,and he reveals the intelligent, motivated and formidable enemy we face. If you ever doubted the premise that these evil people are out there trading in death and violence this book makes it quite clear. Fred Burtons dedication, integrity, and humanity will give you hope for the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2009

    Great counter terrorism books!

    Fred Burton, a member of the counter terrorism unit, has written this book about his experience in that group. He writes about what he has previously done in his job and information about the group. From Hezbollah to Al Queda this book depicts the many threats and challenges Burton had to go through and the accomplishes as well. Great thrilling book to read. Didn't want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

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    Posted August 21, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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